August 3, 2022
Why is Sustainability Important in the Hospitality Industry?
Sustainability is one of the most important components for business success in the century. The adoption of the concept is accelerated by the people’s realization of their central roles to address the challenges facing the planet. For the hospitality industry, sustainability is even more crucial because visitors prefer green hotels to have a bigger and positive impact on their planet.
Hotels make huge impacts on the environment because they consume energy, release wastes into the environment, and impact multiple supply chains associated with food supplies. So, if you have a hotel and want to grow to the next level fast, it is time to adopt sustainability.
The good thing is that sustainability comes with so many benefits. In this post, we take a closer look at the concept of sustainability to demonstrate why it is so critical for the hospitality industry. Furthermore, we will list the main activities you can take to make your hotel sustainable.
A Deeper Look at a Sustainability
Before looking at the benefits that come from adopting sustainable practices in a hotel, let's start by looking at its history. The concept of sustainability can be traced back to the first UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During this meeting, the UN member states agreed that both the environment and development were intertwined. So, it is impossible to talk of one without referring to the other.
The meeting also emphasized that sustainability should include all spheres of the environment, from social and governance. In later conferences, the need for sustainability became even more emphatic, especially with the realization that our actions are largely to blame for major issues such as global warming and loss of biodiversity. For example, a high carbon footprint from hotels and resorts, among other facilities, is one of the main causes of the greenhouse (GHG) effect and global warming.
The Importance of Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry
If you have a hotel, there are many benefits to expect from adopting sustainable practices. Here are some of the benefits to anticipate:
The Hospitality Industry Relies on a Healthy Global Ecosystem
When people walk around or plan for a holiday in a hotel, the most preferred options are those that are safe, healthy, and eco-friendly. These options are only possible when the ecosystem is healthy. According to a survey done in 2019 on airlines and global hotel chains, their major concerns are climate change, water supply, and rising sea levels. These concerns are evident in almost every hotel in Singapore and the UK among other countries on the planet today.
The best way to help hotels thrive is by ensuring that the ecosystem is healthy. Protecting biodiversity ensures that animal habitats and sceneries are maintained well to help attract more visitors. Whether your hotel offers hiking, game drives, or water activities, a healthy ecosystem will ensure every client gets the best experience.
More Customers Have Strong Attachment to Sustainability
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, it demonstrated or emphasized the importance of sustainability. In one of the studies done by Kearney, a consulting firm, the pandemic made people get even more concerned about their environment when drawing their decisions. In March 2019, about 71% of the people factored in the environment when making choices, but the number grew to 78% by March 2020.
Hotels that adopt sustainable practices, therefore, stand out and make more clients want to return for more. Remember that your sustainability efforts should be clearly visible to your visitors and clients. So, if you support green initiatives like ecological restoration and reveal the details to visitors, most will be willing to associate with the projects even after visiting.
The Hospitality Industry Has a Huge Impact on the Global Systems
As we indicated at the beginning, the world is facing unprecedented challenges, from global warming to the loss of biodiversity. The hotel industry is one of the sectors contributing to these challenges. At the moment, the sector accounts for about 1% of the total greenhouse gasses. This means that it has to be part of the initiatives being adopted globally to drive sustainability.
Therefore, each hotel and the entire industry must be at the frontline in cutting down carbon footprint to address the challenge of global warming. One of the best sustainable practices is joining others in drafting strategies for achieving a zero-carbon economy.
Sustainability is Crucial for Compliance
In the current state of the planet, there are major challenges, from rising global temperatures to conflicts in different parts of the globe, and everyone is looking for a solution. On their part, states have passed laws that are aimed at promoting sustainability. Indeed, it is not just the governments that are emphasizing sustainability; professional organizations and capital markets have also installed policies requiring stakeholders to commit to sustainability.
The EU has already passed the Taxonomy legislation to help people to gauge and determine if actions by companies are sustainable. For companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX), there is new legislation requiring them to adopt sustainability and provide annual reports for investors to make their investment decisions. Like Hong Kong, Singapore also has rules that prioritize the application of the Task-force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), diversity, and ESG (environmental, social, and governance) metrics.
All of these policies indicate that if you want to operate and be successful in the hotel business, there is no alternative to sustainability. We have only highlighted a few of the metrics that make sustainability central in enhancing compliance. It is true that the idea is still in the early stages, but it is only a matter of time before it becomes mandatory for all. All actions, such as listing on capital markets, license renewal, partnerships, and tenders, are all likely to get pegged to sustainability in the future.
Very Useful in Building a Happy and Committed Workforce
One of the primary pillars of sustainability is "social," which means the people that a business is associated with. In the hotel industry, this starts with the employees who work there, from chefs to housekeepers. Therefore, giving these people more focus means ensuring they are remunerated well and provided with a clear path for career growth. These are the main ingredients for a happy workforce, and they come in handy in making them feel more attached to their companies and work harder.
With a happy workforce, you can be sure of better service to clients and future revisits. Also, staff turnover will be low, implying that the cost for hiring and staff training will be low. This might be all that you need to keep the cost of operations low and optimize profits for your hotel.
What Sustainability Practices Should You Adopt for Your Hotel?
The reasons we have provided above for adopting sustainability are only a few. The list can be way longer, including growing profits and satisfaction that your hotel is part of the global efforts to address challenges facing us. So, what sustainable practices should you adopt?
Reduce Energy Consumption In Your Hotel by Installing CONTINEWM
Reducing energy use is very important and you should ensure it is part of the hotel strategy because it touches on all areas of operation. One way of achieving this is using CONTINEWM, which is used to help improve the efficiency of the air conditioning system. The device is fitted on the front part of the heat exchanger and works by creating negative charges to neutralize electrostatic charges and resistance created by flowing air. By removing the resistance, you can cut the energy consumption of the HVAC by up to 25%.
CONTINEWM also comes in handy in removing bad odors from the air getting into hotel rooms, which is useful in two ways. One, it helps provide a better work environment for the staff in a hotel. Two, it works excellently in making the room more comfortable for visitors.
Partner with Other Parties Focused on Sustainability
Many are times when the efforts to drive sustainability feel lonely and expensive. For example, you might feel like installing new lamps is a cost that can wait because the recent profits margin dipped a little. However, working with partners who are focused on global sustainability might be all you need to appreciate the long list of benefits that come from sustainability.
One example of a partner you should work with is Climate Fresk, which supports sustainability efforts across the world. The experts can help you to understand and implement the best sustainable practices. Other organizations that you should consider partnering with include UNEP, local conservation departments, and research institutions. Most of them will be willing to help you achieve the best results from sustainability efforts.
Shift to Local Supplies
When the sustainability report of your hotel is published, one of the areas visitors and stakeholders are likely to check closely in the supply chain. This is an important area because the longer the supply chain, the higher the chances of greater damage to the environment and planet. It will be a better idea to buy food for guests from local suppliers instead of importing from the other side of the globe.
Apart from supporting the local communities, you will keep the carbon footprint of the hotel low. Even for the local logistics, perhaps to transport food materials, guests and staff, you should consider using more sustainable means, such as hybrid or fully electric cars.
This post has demonstrated that sustainability in the hotel and hospitality industry is the way to go. We have only scratched the surface and revealed some of the best strategies that you should consider to ingrain sustainability in your restaurant or hotel. Remember that to make your efforts more effective; you should always have a clear goal and capture the details accurately for stakeholders in sustainability reports.
You can never go wrong with sustainability in the hospitality industry and committed partners.